Governing Law and Regulations
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 3
See ADDRESSES & CONTACTS for addresses and telephone numbers.
See national section for basic information and federal regulations.
Comparison: State vs. Federal
• Rules. The National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) requires all federal agencies to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for proposed major actions that significantly affect the environment. Major federal actions may include permits required by the project from federal agencies and federal financing of nonfederal projects. The EIS requirement is the core of NEPA that includes the public in the federal agency decision-making process.
Pennsylvania does not have a statute similar to NEPA that requires an EIS for commonwealth actions that may have a significant impact on the environment. See the national section ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT for more information. However, DEP regulations do require a few specific types of projects to evaluate environmental impacts during the planning stages.
• Administration and enforcement. DEP, EPA, or other appropriate federal agencies administer and enforce NEPA requirements. All documents related to the environmental impacts of a specific project must be submitted to DEP. DEP reviews and distributes EISs to other interested state agencies.